The Time Machine: a Social Commentary

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The poor get poorer and rich get richer. In The Time Machine by H. G. Wells, that statement is true due to the way society has seemed to devolve, at least in the eyes of an unnamed Time-Traveler, by the year 802,701 CE. To convey his message of how humans will be driven apart by social class, Wells uses technology and the relationship between the two sub-species of humanity. Technology, and the ability to use it, is a sign of heightened intelligence. For example, the Time-traveler, in reference to the Eloi (descendants of the upper class), says, “I thought the…lack of intelligence…strengthened my belief in a perfect conquest of Nature.” (50-51). The descendants of humanity lack the intelligence to make tools. This lack of tools shows that even without technology, the Upper-Worlders are content without heightened intellect. Next, the Time-Traveler, after much speculation concerning the diet of the Morlocks (descendants of the working class), concludes, “Sometime in the Long-ago of human decay, the Morlock’s food had run short…after all, they were less human and more remote than our cannibal ancestors of three or four thousand years ago” (96). The Morlocks have the ability to use ingenuity to their advantage by utilizing the only meat source available. Also, the Morlocks make the clothes and sandals of the Eloi, signifying some technological prowess. In Wells’ future, man has lost most technological skill, resulting in a dehumanized world. Even today there is a huge rift between the upper class and the working class. Firstly, the Time-Traveler believed that the Eloi were the “Haves pursuing pleasure and comfort and beauty,” while the Morlocks were the “Have-Nots, the workers” (76). This first theory of the Time-Traveler’s is that humanity was split along social lines and the Eloi ruled over the Morlocks, but this is proved false by the Eloi being “so terribly afraid of the dark” (78). The Time-Traveler’s second theory was that “The Eloi…had decayed to a mere...
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